Earthquake shakes South Island of New Zealand, thousands of reports of tremors

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New Zealand’s South Island has been hit by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake. Initially, a force of 5.7 was discussed, but this was later adjusted upwards. The quake was near Methven, a town west of Christchurch, at a depth of 11 kilometers. It is the strongest earthquake in New Zealand this year.

There are no reports of damage or casualties yet, but New Zealand media speak of a major earthquake that almost immediately generated more than 10,000 reports from residents of the South Island who were startled by it. Tremors have also been felt on the North Island.

It is the first major quake felt in a long time in the Canterbury region, which was hit several times by major tremors in 2010 and 2011. An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 killed 185 people there at the end of February 2011. The damage, including in Christchurch, was enormous. Earlier this year, Canterbury was hit twice by earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.4 and 4.7.

Ring of Fire

Residents of the affected region speak to New Zealand media of a “rolling” quake. Some say their house shook for quite a while, others compare the feeling to the vibration caused by a jet fighter flying low.

New Zealand is regularly hit by earthquakes. This has to do with the country’s location in the Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is located on the so-called Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates come together and cause earthquakes.

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